Tongkat Ali vs Ashwagandha: Which is better? Benefits and drawbacks.

Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha are two renowned natural supplements, each with a rich history of traditional use in their respective regions of Southeast Asia and India. 

Both herbs offer a diverse range of potential health benefits, but they differ significantly in their mechanisms of action and primary uses. 

In this article, we will delve into benefits of Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha, the advantages and disadvantages, and potential concerns when combining them.

Which is better? Tongkat Ali or Ashwagandha?

There is no definite answer which herb is better as both Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha have different mechanism of actions to revitalize health. The effectiveness of each herb is largely dependant on your health goal.

For example, Tongkat Ali may perform better in areas such as testosterone, energy and hormonal balance and other health benefits. On the other hand, Ashwagandha and Tongkat Ali are both effective in improving oveall mood or to reduce stress.

Therefore, the performance of both herb can best evaluated and judged depending on your health goals, dosage, your age and other factors.

Lets look at the benefits of both herb to understand better

Tongkat Ali benefits

Tongkat Ali, commonly known as Malaysian Ginseng, is a Southeast Asian herb known for its various health benefits. 

1. Testosterone Production

One of its most notable benefit is its potential to increase testosterone production, which can lead to improved muscle growth, strength, libido, and sexual health. There are growing scientific evidence, clinical trials and studies to support the testosterone production in male and female from 25 to 70 years.

2. Weight Loss

Tongkat Ali helps with weight loss by boosting metabolism and burning more fat whilst increasing testosterone levels to convert energy more efficiently, and curbing stress eating or overeating habits. Tongkat Ali is a weight loss supplement that reduces your Body Mass Index (BMI) by supporting your exercise routines and diet.

3. Energy & Stamina

Additionally, Tongkat Ali has been found to have ergogenic effects, it boosts energy levels and enhances physical endurance, making it an attractive option for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. 

4. Reduces Stress

Tongkat Ali also offers adaptogenic stress-reducing properties, as it helps decrease cortisol levels, allowing the body to better manage stress and promote overall mental and physical well-being. 

5. Anti-Oxidant

Additionally, studies have shown that Tongkat Ali contains potent antioxidant compounds that can protect the body from free radical damage, contributing to general health maintenance and potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases. 

6. Immune system & Anti Cancer

Other notable Tongkat Ali benefits include its immune system boosting capabilities, anti-cancer properties, as well as its ability to lower blood sugar and pressure.

Drawbacks for Tongkat Ali

Despite the many potential benefits of Tongkat Ali, there are some drawbacks that should be considered before incorporating it into one’s supplement routine. 

Side Effects:

For first-time users, you may experience mild-to-severe side effects at very high doses such as insomnia, irritability, and restlessness. The best way is start with low doses at 100 mg daily, and gradually build up the dose to 400 mg per day until your body builds new levels of tolerance.

Refer to our list of common side effects of Tongkat Ali and how best to mitigate them.

Another concern is quality control. The potency and purity of Tongkat Ali can vary depending on where it is sourced or the manufacturer, which may affect its efficacy and safety. It is worth noting that only Tongkat Ali supplements that use Physta® extract sourced from Malaysia have the full backing of numerous clinical trials that generic brands do not. 

Ashwagandha benefits

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb with a long history in Ayurvedic medicine that offers a number of purported of health benefits. 

1. Reducing & Managing Stress

One of the most popular claims of these adaptogenic properties is that Ashwagandha helps the body cope with various stressors, reducing cortisol levels and effectively managing anxiety and stress – it helps keep you calm. 

2. Improving Cognitive Function

Ashwagandha has demonstrated some potential in improving cognitive function, including memory and focus, due in part to its antioxidant properties that protect brain cells from oxidative stress. The same study on cognitive function also showed that Ashwagandha extract has been shown to help maintain homeostasis and psychomotor abilities in times of stress, lending further credence to its claims as a calming agent. 

3. Enhances Immune System

Another feature of Ashwagandha is that it contains withanolides, compounds that possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can support the immune system and alleviate symptoms of chronic inflammatory conditions. 

4. Improve athletic performance

Other benefits of Ashwagandha include enhancing athletic performance by improving strength, endurance, and muscle recovery. Some studies even indicate that it can be used to promote reproductive health, particularly in men, by increasing sperm count and motility, while also improving sexual function in women. 

There are some less well established benefits of Ashwagandha supplementation; these include improved heart health, by increasing VO2 max levels, as well as lower blood sugar and cholesterol (triglycerides). 

However, it should be noted that these particular set of benefits are not universally applicable and are explored in only a limited number of studies. 

Drawbacks for Ashwagandha

While Ashwagandha offers several purported health benefits, it is essential to consider its potential drawbacks before incorporating it into a supplement routine.

Side Effects:

Some individuals may experience side effects such as gastrointestinal issues, headaches, and drowsiness, which could interfere with their daily activities. 

Additionally, Ashwagandha may stimulate thyroid hormone production in some individuals, leading to increased thyroid hormone levels that can be problematic for those with pre-existing thyroid disorders. Those who have an allergy to nightshades or have certain grass allergies may also not tolerate Ashwagandha well.

Another concern is the possibility of drug interactions; Ashwagandha may interact with certain medications, including sedatives and blood pressure medications, potentially causing adverse effects or reducing the effectiveness of these drugs. 

Some have been even more vociferous, with the McGill University Office for Science and Society criticizing proponents of Ashwagandha, citing Ashwagandha has been poorly studied and has a suspected potential for worsening autoimmune conditions and causing miscarriages. 

Lastly, it may be difficult to determine the source and composition of Ashwagandha supplements as, unlike Tongkat Ali with Physta®, there does not appear to be a standardised formulation for extracts of this herb. 

Unregulated herbal supplements may pose issues in the form of contamination with heavy metals, toxins or other undesirable materials. 

Benefits of combining Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha

Yes you may combine Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha to reap the most benefit and it does not produce any negative reactions. However, that may vary on how your body react to it. 

The combination of Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha can potentially offer a range of complementary and synergistic benefits, addressing various aspects of overall health and well-being. 

By taking these two supplements together, users may experience enhanced stress reduction, as both herbs have adaptogenic properties and can help lower cortisol levels. 

Additionally, Tongkat Ali’s potential testosterone-boosting effects, combined with Ashwagandha’s support for reproductive health, may work together to improve overall sexual health and hormone balance in both men and women. 

Moreover, the pairing of Tongkat Ali’s energy-enhancing and endurance-boosting properties with Ashwagandha’s ability to improve strength and muscle recovery can be particularly beneficial for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Both Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha also boast immune-system boosting properties, with both sharing potent anti-inflammatory properties as well as Tongkat Ali’s ability to increase the production of certain immune cells. 

Lastly, the antioxidant properties present in both herbs can contribute to protecting the body from free radical damage and support overall health maintenance.

Drawback of combining Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha

While taking Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha together may offer synergistic benefits, there are potential drawbacks to consider. Combining these two supplements may increase the likelihood of experiencing side effects from either or both, such as gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, irritability, or drowsiness, which could negatively impact daily life. Furthermore, the potential for drug interactions (due to Ashwagandha) may be higher when taking both supplements, leading to adverse effects or reduced effectiveness of certain medications, such as sedatives or blood pressure medications. 

Therefore, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional before combining Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha, especially for individuals taking medications or those with pre-existing medical conditions. Careful consideration and professional guidance can help ensure the safe and effective use of these supplements in combination.

Parting words

In conclusion, Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha are two potent natural supplements, each offering unique health benefits that can potentially improve various aspects of well-being. 

While Tongkat Ali is renowned for its testosterone-boosting effects, metabolism support, and adaptogenic properties, Ashwagandha is known for its stress-reducing abilities, cognitive enhancement, and support for reproductive health. 

Combining these two herbs may offer synergistic effects, addressing multiple health aspects and providing enhanced support for overall health.

However, it is crucial to consider the potential drawbacks and risks when combining these two supplements, such as increased likelihood of side effects or drug interactions. 

As with any supplement, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional to ensure safe and effective use, especially for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions or those taking medications.

By carefully weighing the advantages and disadvantages, and seeking professional guidance, individuals can potentially harness the combined power of Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha to support their health and well-being, optimize their physical and mental performance, and enjoy a better quality of life.

With that said, if you are interested in experiencing the benefits of Tongkat Ali, remember to choose a verified product like AKARALI that uses Physta® extract to ensure you are receiving a high-quality, safe, and effective supplement.

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